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Golf-A-Million

Playing bad golf, how to keep motivated?

7 posts in this topic

Ok guy's, Here is my story. I started playing golf when I was 17 and got the usual 18handicap. Over the next 10yrs I loved golf and got down to 10 but always enjoyed golf as it was with a group of friends. When I got to 27yrs old we had all gone our separate ways and then it was a matter of playing with anyone you could on a Sunday morning to get my golf in. Slowly fell out of love with golf and really did not enjoy it for 4-5years and drifted out to 14 handicap. Then for 5 years I had a back problem and played very little but when I did I really did not enjoy it as it frustrated the hell out of me. I am very competitive so I end up starting badly and then just lose interest and get angry with the bad golf.

Anyway I re-joined my local club in September and got a 14 handicap again. Since then I have played about 8 rounds as I don't have a lot of time and again really struggled with Enjoying golf. I really look forward to playing but when I step on the course and start playing rubbish I end up hating golf. Last week I was playing with 2 strangers and I started of on the front 9 with 8 points. Then one of the guys said let play for the coffee and cakes on the back 9. Low on behold I par the next 4 and really get into it, eventually winning the back 9 by 1 shot. (other two golfers played off 5 and 11).

How do I enjoy golf again and especially how do I enjoy it when playing badly?

I do know how lucky I am to be able to get out in the fresh air and spend 4 hours walking around enjoying the world around me but I really struggle with enjoying the actual golf.

I am playing tomorrow morning and the weather forecast is shocking with wind and rain so I have said to myself a low score will win so I really need to give 100% for 18holes. I also plan to keep stats about GIR and fairways hit to keep me busy during the round.

Any advice?---Oh I'm now playing off 15 tomorrow. Thought doing this post and following up tomorrow evening with my results would give me some extra focus.

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If you do not enjoy golf unless your results are decent, then stop playing for a while.  Practice and take some lessons but don't actually play any full rounds. Limit yourself to 9 hole practice rounds until your ball striking and short game is where you want it.

Alternately, if you enjoy competition then only play with club members who want to have a little something on the line.  Winning, even while shooting a poor score, often is reward enough.

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You are putting too much pressure on yourself.  If you don't have the time to practice or play more, then just enjoy being in the moment knowing that you will have bad shots.  Also, say to yourself, "At least I'm not in Boston where they are going to get a foot of snow tomorrow."

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Maybe it's as much that you are not playing with the same friends as it is that you are not playing as well, and maybe those things are related.

When I first started playing I joined a club so my son and I could play unlimited golf. Turned out there was a great group of guys at that club that were crazy enough to play almost as much golf as we did. We had games from daylight to dark almost any day I wasn't working and since I got off work at 1:00 p.m. we played until dark after work.

Any of us that arrived at the course went out and found the others on whichever hole they were playing and started some sort of game. Since those other players were better than I was, I was always motivated to practice and play as much as I could. Even on the rare occasions that we weren't at the course my son and I would stand 100 yards apart in the yard and hit a ball back and forth to each other with a wedge with the goal to hit a ball right at each other's feet.

Between the motivation and the fact that I had great people to play with, I was always happy playing golf, and was actually getting pretty good at it.

Things changed and the club was sold to the city and made public and all of us went our separate ways (and my son also moved away). Some joined another country club that I couldn't afford and some pretty much quit playing golf very often.

I still play when I can and still enjoy it but I don't have the same motivation and I doubt if golf will ever be quite the same for me, or as fun, as it was when I was playing every day with that group of people.

So it seems for me that having great people to play with, and being motivated to improve, are mostly what determines how happy I am playing golf.

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You are putting too much pressure on yourself.  If you don't have the time to practice or play more, then just enjoy being in the moment knowing that you will have bad shots. ...

Maybe it's as much that you are not playing with the same friends as it is that you are not playing as well, and maybe those things are related.

I suspect the two above conditions contribute to your problems.

First, you must figure out what you hope to get from golf.

  • If you mainly want to play with friends and break 90 regularly, you need to find a group - or maybe a couple of groups - that you like to play with. If you play regularly with Foursome A and Foursome B, you can rebuild your "social network" for golf.
  • If you want to break 80 on a regular basis, you need to analyze your game, pick out your weak points, and practice to improve.

Also, don't overlook your back problems and your age . As near as I can tell, you're pushing 40. If you don't work out regularly (separate from golf), you may suffer from Chairborne Syndrome: strong thighs from getting into and out of your chair at work, but weak hip flexors and poor back flexibility. Any back injuries would make this worse. So, how is your overall conditioning?

Strong hip flexors add power to your golf swing, and lower back flexibility allows you to stay down on your follow-through.

Also, what is the age of your golf clubs? You may want to get fitted to see what clubs you need, and compare them to the clubs you have.

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Many of us men are wired such that winning (or doing better) is the only fun they get out of playing sports.  If you are one of those, there isn't much to do other than put in the work to improve.   If can't put in much work, remember golf is a "game" and just enjoy the company you keep with, the scenery, beer afterward, etc..   And if your game improves, consider that a bonus.

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I know it is hard to play a different game from the one you remember when you were younger and healthier. As I hit my 60's my distance keeps getting shorter and shorter, and the nerves over short putts keep getting yippier and yippier, so I can relate.

My only advice is that right now you are knocking the rust off of a game that was dormant for a brief period of time. How well you play will be directly proportional to the amount of time you invest in getting your game back in shape. If it going to take more time than you can afford, you have two options:  1) change your standards, or 2) don't play.

There have been times that I have been down right disgusted with how my game has deteriorated from my youth. But, my love for the game won out, and I have invested the time necessary in my short game to compensate for shorter distances, and spent longer sessions on the putting green trying different methods to become an above average putter. Consequently, my handicap is not as low as it once was, but it stayed at single digits, at least for another year.

The quote that keeps me going is:  "Golf is a journey, not a destination." Every time I tee it up, I know that there will be new adventures, both good and bad. So, I accept the good and the bad as a part of the game, and try to maintain a consistent game.

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